OUTBOUND GALLERY

Yellowstone Park at 150

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act establishing America’s first national park “ … for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

This summer, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone, watching each year as millions explore this sacred land. Nearly 5 million visitors toured Yellowstone last year alone, breaking the 2016 record of 4.2 million. At Mountain Outlaw magazine, it got us thinking: How can we honor this wondrous place?

We decided to take you on a generational photography tour of Yellowstone, from when the park’s gates first opened to families in horse-drawn carriages to its formative years in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s when park rangers still patrolled on horseback. We end the journey with images from today’s Yellowstone, where a post-pandemic world seeks its fresh air and pure wildness in record numbers.

The following imagery captures a piece of Yellowstone, created “ … for the benefit and enjoyment of people.”  This same inscription lives on the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance to the park in Gardiner, Montana. Yellowstone offers an opportunity for us all to connect with nature and be inspired to protect one of the world’s wildest places so that generations to come may still enjoy it.

– The Editors

Tourists viewing bears feeding in 1910.
JP CLUM LANTERN / NPS PHOTO
Army bicyclists on Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces taken around 1896.
NPS PHOTO
Ranger Ted Ogsten and Chief Ranger Sam Woodring with coyote pelts in 1927.
NPS PHOTO
Early visitors at Handkerchief Pool in Black Sand Basin from around 1923.
CARL SCHRIM / NPS PHOTO
President Theodore Roosevelt at Mammoth Hot Springs in 1903 or 1904.
NPS PHOTO
Bears being fed from garbage carts.
NPS PHOTO

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the tract of land in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming, lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone River ... is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people..."
- Yellowstone National Park Act, 1872

A large group of people fishing off of Fishing Bridge in 1962 before it closed to fishing in 1973 due to the declining cutthroat trout population.
MILLER / NPS PHOTO
Boy holding an 8.5-pound rainbow trout caught in Rainbow Lake in 1947.
NPS PHOTO
Ranger patrol on horses for President Gerald Ford's visit at Old Faithful in 1976.
CYNTHIA ZIMMERLI / NPS PHOTO
Preparing to anesthetize a grizzly bear with an M-99 in 1970.
RICHARD L. LAKE / NPS PHOTO
A helicopter removing the anesthetized grizzly bear in 1970.
RICHARD L. LAKE / NPS PHOTO
Park employees using a siphon to clean Morning Glory Pool.
DAN ING / NPS PHOTO

"The establishment of the National Park Service is justified by considerations of good administration, of the value of natural beauty as a National asset, and of the effectiveness of outdoor life and recreation in the production of good citizenship."
–Theodore Roosevelt

Large crowds gather at Old Faithful in 2015.
NEAL HERBERT / NPS PHOTO
A group of bison surround a car as they walk along the road towards Lamar Valley in 2019.
JACOB W. FRANK / NPS PHOTO
A wolf makes its way through the sage brush
PHOTO BY TOM MURPHY
A teepee was installed at the North Entrance of the park next to Roosevelt Arch as part of Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary celebration.
JACOB W. FRANK / NPS PHOTO
The Super Flower Blood Moon illuminates a geyser eruption at Old Faithful in May of 2022.
PHOTO BY DAVE PECUNIES

“Creating the national park System was one of the best ideas that the Federal Government ever had, and Montanans are fortunate to have a slice of the oldest park in our backyard. Yellowstone’s significance as an important area for the history and traditions of Tribal Nations throughout the West dates back far beyond its designation as a national park, and in the 150 years that followed ... It’s my honor in the Senate to help champion our national parks so that we can preserve them for generations to come.”
–U.S. Sen. Jon Tester

CALL TO ACTION

Yellowstone Forever, the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park, protects, preserves and enhances the park through education and philanthropy. YF hosts a number of Field Seminars, which run from May through October, and include opportunities to learn about wolves, bird migration, Mammoth Hot Springs, and nearly everything else park related, even bugs in the stream for you fly fishermen and women. Visit yellowstone.org for more information.

Cover image for the Summer 2022 Issue of Mountain Outlaw